Manitou Springs racers win Aspen triathlon
Manitou Springs’ Derick Williamson won a shootout with two local endurance hardmen, taking the 12th annual Aspen High Country Triathlon Saturday with only 24 seconds separating the top three.Williamson, a trainer with Carmichael Training Systems in Colorado Springs, finished the 800-yard swim, 17-mile bike and four-mile run in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 19 seconds.
Aspen’s Julian Underwood, a top amateur triathlete who finished sixth in the Leadville 100 mountain bike race Aug. 14, crossed the line just nine seconds back (1:27:28). Glenwood Springs’ Charlie Wertheim, one of the running and uphilling heavyweights in the valley, finished 24 seconds off Williamson’s pace (1:27:43). “Our top three overall finishers were very, very fast,” said race director Nancy Lesley of the Aspen Recreation Department. “I can’t imagine there’s been a tighter finish in the history of this race.”
Another ringer from Manitou Springs, Kelly Handel, also a trainer with the CTS Performance Center in Colorado Springs, won the women’s triathlon in 1:36:27. Judyann Cummings of Denver was three minutes back in second (1:39:45) and Salida’s Karen Thorpe was third (1:43:52). Aspen native Ali Crum took fourth. (See complete results page A17.)Racers completed the swimming leg at the Aspen Recreation Center (ARC) pool, then changed into biking gear and hopped on their bikes bound for the Maroon Bells and a 17-mile round trip back to the ARC. In the final transition to running togs, racers hustled around a four-mile loop of the Aspen municipal golf course, finishing back at the ARC.
In the duathlon division, Matthew Segur of Lakewood won the men’s race and Wendy Mader of Fort Collins won the women’s contest.For the first time, the race featured a chip timing system, enabling athletes an opportunity to check on their time in each discipline and transition areas. “Everyone thought that was pretty cool,” said Lesley. (For detailed results with split times check out http://www.sportsconnection.net.)Nearly 200 participants competed in the triathlon and duathlon.
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The 2020-21 Nordic combined season was supposed to be historic. This winter was going to be the first ever with women’s Nordic combined World Cup events, the first scheduled for Dec. 3-6 in Lillehammer, Norway.